1. We reserve the right to sometimes refuse requests for assistance in cases where we can neither usefully contribute nor offer the necessary skilled services.

  2. Because the study of paranormal phenomena is far from an exact science, we cannot guarantee our advice or findings. We would advise caution if anyone claims to have definite answers to paranormal questions, because very little in this field has been established with any degree of certainty.

Every ghost-hunting group should have a set of bylaws by which it operates. Yes, these investigations can be fun, but they must also be taken seriously and handled professionally especially when the investigation is in someone's home. Here are some guidelines that every paranormal investigation group should consider and take to heart:

1. Be Informed- Before you start an investigation, learn all you can about the location and the paranormal activity that has been reported there. Seek any books, magazine and newspaper articles that might have been written about the place. If possible, interview eyewitnesses to the activity. The more you know about a location, the better you'll be able to conduct your investigation. You'll know about specific areas to look into, the right questions to ask, and will be better able to understand any evidence uncovered.

2. Be Prepared- Being informed is part of being prepared, but you should also be prepared physically and equipment-wise. Physically, be sure you are feeling well enough to endure whatever the investigation might demand: climbing stairs, creeping through damp basements, etc. If you have a bad cold, you don't want to spread it among your fellow members or your clients.

Make sure your equipment is ready: plenty of extra batteries, clean camera lens, plenty of memory cards for cameras and camcorders, tape for voice recorders and camcorders, note-taking supplies, flashlights, extension cords.... You should have a checklist of equipment and supplies. Check it and be sure you have everything you need and in good working order.

3. Do Not Trespass- Just because you have a well-organized ghost-hunting group with cool T-shirts does not give you automatic permission to go into any abandoned building or even any cemetery after hours (most are closed after sunset) to do an investigation. Even though a building looks abandoned, the property is still owned by someone, and going into it without permission is illegal.

Always get permission to investigate a building. You can often get special permission to investigate a cemetery by contacting the owner, if it is privately owned, or from the city, town, or county if it is a public graveyard.

4. Be Respectful- A big part of your ghost-hunting group's reputation is based on how respectful it is to the property being investigated and to any clients that might be involved. A property owner or client is going to want to feel comfortable that your group is not going to be destructive in any way, that the possibility of theft is never an issue, and that you won't be noisy or rude.

Treat any client and witness with the utmost respect. Listen to their reports of experiences carefully and seriously. Every member of your group should be especially mindful of this when investigating a private residence.

Be respectful of your team members. Ghost-hunting groups like all such groups of people are fraught with infighting, personality conflicts, and differences of opinion. Without respect for one another, your group will fall apart.

5. Do Not Venture Off On Your Own- When your ghost hunting team splits up to cover various areas of a location, they should always be in groups of two or more. Safety is a primary reason.

Also, the evidence collected by a person who goes off on his or her own might automatically be suspect. To help ensure the integrity of any evidence, it must be gathered in the presence of two or more people.

6. Do Not Fake Evidence- If you're going to falsify, exaggerate, or otherwise alter evidence, then why are you doing ghost investigation? These investigations are about trying to find the truth about a possible haunting as best we can. It's counterproductive to the investigation, what the ghost hunting group is all about and just plain wrong.

7. Be Skeptical- This can often be a difficult thing for ghost hunters because we want to find evidence. We want to record a Class A EVP, take an anomalous photo, make contact with the "other side", or otherwise have a paranormal experience. That's what drives us to conduct these investigations. But we must take caution and not be too eager.

Be diligent in trying to debunk gathered evidence. Find plausible explanations; do not automatically jump to a paranormal explanation. Being skeptical will make any possibly genuine evidence all the more valuable.

8. Do Not steal/borrow Evidence- Do not steal from other ghost-hunting groups. Many groups with websites have found that their evidence, EVP, pictures, etc; has been "borrowed" by other groups without giving credit where it is due. Do not take evidence from other groups (from their websites or in any other way) without permission. And certainly do not claim it as your own.

9. Know your Limits- It doesn't happen very often, but on occasion a ghost investigation can get rather intense. Phenomena might be taking place that you do not have the experience or skills to deal with. Know your limitations on what you are able to handle. You might have to call in or turn over the investigation to a more experienced investigator, particularly if there are physical attacks. Again, these are quite rare cases, but they can happen and you should have a plan for what to do.

10. Be Professional at All Times- You want your ghost-hunting group to be respectful and respected, to be honest and forthright, to be ethical and have the highest degree of integrity. Without these things, your group is doomed to failure and will have contributed little if nothing to the search for truth in this field.

11. NEVER Charge for Investigations- No group should charge a client for an investigation. Period. Not one dime. In special circumstances, if your group is being asked by a client to travel a long distance to conduct an investigation, the client might offer to pay part of the transportation costs, but this should never be a requirement.


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